Events immediately following the Major kill the momentum. Will CSPPA fix the CS: GO calendar?
FaZe Clan won the 17th Valve Major at PGL Antwerp, lifting the trophy after beating the defending champions NaVi. 2 weeks after their conquest, they have been eliminated by Cloud9 at IEM Dallas. NaVi, Entropiq, and Heroic withdrew, and ENCE, MIBR, and NIP brought stand-ins to Dallas. And now with Faze’s elimination, the storylines of the Major have already lost some of their momenta. Do we need changes to the CS: GO Player break?
This is not the first time that an event scheduled right after the Major has had so many issues. Throughout the history of CS:GO there have been countless examples of similar scenarios. Where the Major Champion loses the next event.
|Major||Winner||Placement at Next Event||Time Till Next Trophy|
|Dreamhack Winter 2013||Fnatic||Did Not Attend||9 Months (Roster Change)|
|EMS One Katowice 2014||Virtus.Pro||3rd||5 Months|
|ESL One Cologne 2014||Ninjas In Pyjamas||Did Not Attend||20 Months (Roster Change)|
|Dreamhack Winter 2014||LDLC||Did Not Attend||2 Months|
|ESL One Katowice 2015||Fnatic||Did Not Attend||2 Months|
|ESL One Cologne 2015||Fnatic||3rd-4th||3 Months|
|Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca 2015||Envyus||7th-8th||3 Months|
|MLG Colombus 2016||Luminosity||9th-12th||1 Month|
|ESL One Cologne 2016||SK||Disqualified||10 Months (Roster Change)|
|ELEAGUE Atlanta 2017||Astralis||3rd-4th||1 Month|
|PGL Krakow 2017||Gambit||3rd-4th||59 Months (Ongoing)|
|ELEAGUE Boston 2018||Cloud9||9th-11th||52 Months (Ongoing)|
|FaceIT London 2018||Astralis||Did Not Attend||1 Month|
|IEM Katowice 2019||Astralis||Did Not Attend||6 Months|
|Starladder Berlin 2019||Astralis||2nd||2 Months|
|PGL Stockholm 2021||NaVi||1st||3 Weeks|
|PGL Antwerp 2021||Faze Clan||5th-6th||Ongoing|
In fact, in the 16 CS:GO Majors, there was only one Champion to parlay the success into the next event. That was 2021’s Natus Vincere. Some of the greatest teams ever put together faced defeat at the next events. Fnatic, SK, and Ninjas In Pyjamas all failed to continue their runs. Here are some of the biggest examples of these losses.
Ninjas In Pyjamas
Let’s start our deeper look at the first-ever era. Ninjas in Pyjamas are one of the most legendary lineups. After assembling some of the best 1.6 and Source players in a CS:GO team, they went on an unstoppable run. Winning 87 maps in a row, they were a different tier of dominant. But their Major came over a year after their original run ended.
The win was one of the greatest moments in CS:GO history. But it was followed by a long dry spell for the organization. Not only did NIP fail to qualify for the StarSeries that immediately followed. But they also failed to make the playoffs of their next event, the Dreamhack Invitational. The team’s run of poor luck continued through 3 different iterations of the roster.
Finally, they lifted a trophy at Dreamhack Master Malmo 2016, over 2 years after the Major win.
Fnatic: Months without lifting a trophy
Once considered the greatest team of all time, Fnatic always struggled with event-to-event consistency. They faced countless losses to TSM which forced them out of events early. Following both their Major wins, they had months where they didn’t lift a single trophy. This was despite them being far and away the best team at the time.
The 2-time major winning roster of Luminosity-SK Gaming won a total of 3 events at their peak. After their ascension at MLG Columbus, they failed to make playoffs at Dreamhack Masters Malmo. They then took a month to lift their next trophy at ESL Pro League Season 3 Finals.
Their second major win fared even worse. After lifting the trophy at ESL One Cologne, the Brazilians were Disqualified from ELEAGUE Season 1 for roster changes. And the squad never won another event.
Their next trophy came with the 2017 roster where felps replaced FNX, leading them to multiple trophies over the year.
The Astralis era
The Greatest Team of All Time is infamous for skipping events. After their 2017 Major win, they only made the top 4 at the next event. So when their Faceit London win came around, they skipped the biggest event in town IEM New York. Instead choosing to go to Blast Pro Series Istanbul instead. Following Katowice, they took another Blast Pro Series-only hiatus, dubbed the Blastralis era.
When they finally played an S-tier event following the Starladder Berlin Major, Stanislaw’s Evil Geniuses gave them a hard 3-1 loss in the finals.
Gambit, Cloud9: The Miracle underdogs
The two miracle majors of Krakow and Boston perhaps took the heaviest toll on the winners. Both Gambit and Cloud9 had no business winning those Majors and proved it in the events that followed. Gambit made the top 4 at the Dreamhack Las Vegas. While Cloud9 failed to make the playoffs of Starseries Season 4. Neither team has lifted a single big CS:GO LAN trophy since their major victories.
Gambit’s Academy-turned main squad came the closest, with their IEM Katowice 2021 Online victory. And now as the team has transferred to Cloud9, they are favored to win IEM Dallas after eliminating FaZe Clan.
The biggest what-if of all time in CS:GO, the Natus Vincere roster that won PGL Stockholm looked unstoppable. They had the firepower of a Faze or a Liquid but combined with Blad3’s galaxy-level tactical preparation. This meant that after winning the Major without dropping a single map, they went into Blast Premier Fall Finals Copenhagen and dominated the tournament.
Their achievement cemented them as the only team to win the LAN following a Major victory. And they could’ve gone on to do so much more in the history of CS. Had it not been for the geopolitical situation they are facing.
The CSPPA Needs to Fix This
16/17 Major winners have failed to repeat their success at the next event. There is undeniable proof that Post-Major events cause aberrations in Event Results. After a 94% failure rate, the scene needs to be retooled to better suit the circuit.
The Major dates have been announced in advance. Now it is the responsibility of the CSPPA to schedule the CS: GO player breaks accordingly to ensure that such events do not occur in the future. IEM Rio will end on the 13th of November and 10 days later Blast Premier Fall Finals begin in Copenhagen. I am willing to bet that the events will not share a common victor.
Will 16/17 losses finally be enough? Will the CSPPA finally work towards safeguarding the history that defines CS:GO players? Their statements on the ESIC and their new board, give me hope that they are finally working towards improvement. But this is an issue that has plagued the scene since the start, and it needs to stop.